ICYMI:18 Texas sheriffs signing up to support Trump’s deportation efforts

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Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez poses on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017, in Houston. ( Brett Coomer / Houston Chronicle ) Photo: Brett Coomer, Staff / © 2017 Houston Chronicle

Photo: Brett Coomer, Staff

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez poses on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017, in Houston. ( Brett Coomer / Houston Chronicle )

This week’s best in long-form and investigative journalism includes a look at the possibility of mutant mosquitoes, a dive into the fallout of Sheriff Ed Gonzalez’ decision to end a partnership with immigration authorities and the long-awaited return of Tom Brady’s famously purloined jersey.

18 Texas sheriffs step up to replace Harris County in Trump’s deportation push
By Lise Olsen
@chrondigger 


Ed Gonzalez, Harris County’s newly-elected sheriff, has ended a special enforcement partnership with federal immigration officials, but at least 18 other mostly rural and suburban Texas sheriffs have now proposed to help the Trump administration aggressively deport immigrants in the country illegally.

Before Zika strikes, county considers mutant mosquitoes
By Mihir Zaveri
@MihirZaveri

Houston is pondering a sneak attack against unwanted insects, something akin to a Trojan Horse – but with mutant mosquitoes. Harris County officials are negotiating with a British biotech company, Oxitec, to create and release mosquitoes genetically engineered so that after they’re set loose in the wild, offspring die, and the mosquito population dwindles.

Salvador Rico, inspection supervisor with Harris County's Mosquito Control Division, examines standing water in a roadside ditch near SH-288 and Old Spanish Trail for larva, which can grow up to transmit disease.  Photo: Mihir Zavari / Houston Chronicle

Photo: Mihir Zavari

Salvador Rico, inspection supervisor with Harris County’s Mosquito Control Division, examines standing water in a roadside ditch near SH-288 and Old Spanish Trail for larva, which can grow up to transmit disease. 

Ex-Congressman Stockman accused of stealing $775,000 from foundations
By Lise Olsen
@chrondigger

Former U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman, a Republican whose district stretched from Houston to Beaumont, allegedly conspired with two staffers to bilk conservative foundations out of about $775,000 in donations meant for charitable purposes or voter education, according to federal court records.

Lockhart crash’s grieving families to FAA: Don’t let it happen again
By Mark Collette
@chronMC

Sue Rowen climbed in the car after a weekend round of golf and turned on news radio. The announcers was reporting a downed hot-air balloon – a balloon not unlike the one here son and daughter-in-law were on. Was it the one they were on? Frantic, she called Matt and Sunday and got no answer.

Investigative reporter Mark Collette delved into one family’s last minutes before the deadly 2016 hot air balloon crash near Lockhart.

Janis and Matt Stewart hold a frame of the family of her daughter, Sunday Stewart Rowan, on a swing set in their backyard Friday, March 3, 2017, in College Station. Rowan and her husband Matt Rowan, right in the photo, died in the hot air balloon crash in Lockhart in 2016, and left behind a son, Jett Sunday Jones. On the left in the photo is Jett's father, Brent Jones. Photo: Yi-Chin Lee, Houston Chronicle / © 2017 Houston Chronicle

Photo: Yi-Chin Lee, Houston Chronicle

Janis and Matt Stewart hold a frame of the family of her daughter, Sunday Stewart Rowan, on a swing set in their backyard Friday, March 3, 2017, in College Station. Rowan and her husband Matt Rowan, right in the photo, died in the hot air balloon crash in Lockhart in 2016, and left behind a son, Jett Sunday Jones. On the left in the photo is Jett’s father, Brent Jones.

Tom Brady’s Super Bowl jersey has been found after FBI help
By Matt Young and Andrew Kragie
@Chron_MattYoung and @AndrewKragie

It was much ado over a jersey – but now it’s all done. Houston police cracked the case and tracked down Tom Brady’s purloined shirt, stashed away in Mexico by an international reporter.


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